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Children, Adolescents and Huel

Huel has been designed to meet adult requirements for all nutrients at a 2,000-calorie intake.  People are enjoying using Huel for some of their meals as well as having one or two solid meals per day, using Huel to help ensure they’re getting a good intake of all nutrients.  However, what about children and adolescents who have different nutritional requirements to those of adults?

Huel, like any food, is safe for children above 4 years of age to include as part of a balanced, varied diet. Parents of children under 4 years old should consult their doctor or relevant health care professional before allowing their child to consume Huel.  Huel is not suitable for babies or infants below / during weaning age.

Optimal Nutrition in Children and Adolescents

Children and adolescents should be encouraged to consume a balanced diet consisting of a variety of different foods including fibrous starchy foods like rice, potatoes, pasta, cereals; meat, fish or high-protein vegetarian alternatives; fruit and vegat least 5 servings a day; and calcium-rich foods including dairy products or calcium-fortified alternatives.  Children and teenagers should eat regularly to fuel growth and mental development as well as providing nutrition for high levels of activity.  Good nutrition goes hand in hand with physical activity: kids are encouraged to be active and include some regular exercise, whether it be school sports, walking, cycling or playing out with friends.  A healthy child is one who eats well and gets plenty of exercise.

As long as the child is eating sufficient foods from the above food groups, it’s OK for them to include treat foods like fatty and sugary treat foods, but these must not be consumed too often.  It is essential to recognise that socialising is important for kids, and if their friends are enjoying treat foods, the odd junk food meal or fatty and sugary snack will not be harmful and may help prevent a child from feeling ‘left out’.

Getting your child to eat a good balanced diet can be an arduous challenge in a modern society where sweets, snacks and fast foods are advertised everywhere and buying them is both easy and affordable.  Any parent will know what it’s like trying to get a young child to eat all their vegetables, and most teenagers seem to be either constantly eating junk or have decided to follow a faddy diet, leaving them with insufficient nutrition.


Huel can be included as part of a healthy diet for children and adolescents.  Flavoured Huel blended with water is a sweet and great tasting, enjoyable drink.  If you’re struggling to get your child or teenager to eat healthy food and they insist on eating junk and not enough fruit and veg, then including Huel once or twice a day will help provide some of the good-quality nutrition that they need.  Also, our great Huel recipes, such as Huel Super Waffles, can be a fun way for your child to enjoy Huel nutrition 
(you can sign up to the free Huel Recipe eBook here to get all the Huel recipes).

Energy Requirements

Children’s energy requirements vary hugely, from less than 1,500 calories per day in children under 6 years of age to over 2,800 in older teenagers; the latter being higher than that of an average adult.  If a child is very active, then these requirements can be greater, and some kids are just not big eaters, so you need to look at nutritionally sound ways of obtaining sustenance without encouraging too much junk for the sake of calories.  Using 2-3 scoops of Huel as an in-between main meal ‘snack’ is a great way of doing this.

Energy requirements (calories per day) for children & adolescents(1)

 Age 4 - 6 7 - 10 11 - 14 15 - 18
Males 1386-1577 1649-2032 2127-2629 2820-3155
Females 1291-1482 1482-1936 2032-2342 2390-2462

Macronutrient Requirements

Protein requirements increase with age from 19.7g per day in 4 to 6-year-olds and 28.3g in 7- to 10-year-olds to 0.75g per kg body weight per day in children and adolescents over 10 years and into adulthood.  These recommendations cover little more than basic requirements, and typical intakes from a varied Western diet are considerably more.  Indeed, active adolescents who partake in regular exercise benefit from a higher intake.  100g of Huel (about 2.5 scoops) provides over 30g of protein, so it’s a significant contributor to protein intake, especially for fussy eaters or vegetarian children.

Protein requirements for children & adolescents (1,2)

 Age 4 - 6 7 - 10 11 - Adult

Amount

19.7g/day 28.3g/day

0.75g/kg bodyweight

Recommendations state that carbohydrate intake should be 40-50% of total energy intake, therefore the amount of carbs kids eat should be based on their calorie requirements.  The bulk of carbohydrate intake should be from fibrous starchy sources like potatoes, rice, pasta, cereals, wholemeal or granary bread and other whole grains, rather than from added sugars.  The goal is for sugar intake to be less than 5% of total energy.  Huel is low in sugars, 2.8% of total energy, and based on oats: a fibrous source of starch.

Fat intake advice is also based on energy requirements and should be no more than 35% of total intake.  Like adults, children and adolescents are encouraged to consume more of certain types of fats including omega-3 polyunsaturates and monounsaturates.  Huel provides 30% of its energy from fat and has an ideal fatty acid profile.

Fibre Intake

Most kids don’t consume enough fibre.  Getting children and adolescents to eat more fruit and veg or fibrous carbohydrate foods can be a difficult task that leaves many parents frustrated.  Not only are these foods rich in fibre, but they also contain many essential vitamins and minerals.  Lack of fibre in kids can lead to bowel problems and could be a contributing factor in inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and colitisboth of which occur most commonly in adolescents and young adulthood.

Huel is high in fibre with 100g providing 7.2g; a significant contribution to the 20g per day recommended for younger children and the 25-30g per day for adolescents.

Salt Intake

A lot of junk and convenience foods are high in salt, and some of this is ‘hidden salt’ in not-so-obvious foods.  Consequently, like adults, children are encouraged to reduce their salt intake.  Suggested upper intakes are 3g per day for 4- 6-year-olds, 5g per day for 7- 10-year-olds and 6g per day for over-11s.  Five scoops of Huel per day would contribute around 1.3g whilst providing around 800 calories.

Vitamin & Mineral Intakes

The table below shows the recommended intakes of vitamins and minerals (for those that recommended intake figures exist) for boys and girls of different ages, as well as how much of each micronutrient is provided by one scoop of Huel.  Requirements increase with age, with the amounts in adolescents being the same as in adults, and for many micronutrients, the adolescent requirements are actually higher than for adults.  For instance, calcium is higher because these are the bone-building years, and a good intake from 11 years of age through until adulthood may actually help prevent the onset of osteoporosis later in life; indeed, although the adult requirements are the same for males and females (800mg per day) females may actually require higher amounts right up to their late 20s.  The calcium amount in Huel is set at a level higher than the 800mg per day suggested for adults in the UK, more than covering the amount required for adolescents.

From menarche (the onset of menstruation), adolescent and adult females have a higher requirement for iron than males, and even the requirement of 14.8mg per day may not even be enough for females who have particularly large menstrual bleeds.  2,000 calories of Huel per day provides more than enough iron.

Suggested daily requirements for boys for vitamins and minerals for which there are figures(1) compared to how much of each is on one scoop of Huel

4-6

7-10

11-14

15-18

Per scoop

Vitamin A (mcg)

400

500

600

700

60.8
Vitamin D (mcg) 10 10 10 10

1.1

Vitamin C (mg)

30

30

35

40

22.9

Thiamin (mg)

0.7

0.7

0.9

1.1

0.1

Riboflavin (mg)

0.8

1.0

1.2

1.3

0.1

Niacin (mg)

11

12

15

18

1.2

Vitamin B6 (mg)

0.9

1.0

1.2

1.5

0.1

Folate (mcg)

100

150

200

200

15.2

Vitamin B12 (mcg)

0.8

1.0

1.2

1.5

0.2

Potassium (mg)

1100

2000

3100

3500

167

Chloride (mg)

1100

1800

2500

2500

61.2

Calcium (mg)

450

550

1000

1000

73.3

Phospherous (mg)

350

450

775

775

189

Magnesium (mg)

120

200

280

300

40.3

Iron (mg)

6.1

8.7

11.3

11.3

3.1

Zinc (mg)

6.5

7.0

9.0

9.5

1.0

Copper (mg)

0.6

0.7

0.8

1.0

0.1

Selenium (mcg)

20

30

45

70

11.1

Iodine (mcg)

100

110

130

140

11.4

Suggested daily requirements for girls for vitamins and minerals for which there are figures(1) compared to how much of each is on one scoop of Huel

4-6

7-10

11-14

15-18

Per scoop
Vitamin A (mcg) 400 500 600 600 60.8
Vitamin D (mcg) 10 10 10 10 1.1
Vitamin C (mg) 30 30 35 40 22.9
Thiamin (mg) 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.1
Riboflavin (mg) 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.1 0.1
Niacin (mg) 11 12 12 14 1.2
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.2 0.1
Folate (mcg) 100 150 200 200 15.2
Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.5 0.2
Potassium (mg) 1100 2000 3100 3500 167
Chloride (mg) 1100 1800 2500 2500 61.2
Calcium (mg) 450 550 800 800 73.3
Phospherous (mg) 350 450 625 625 189
Magnesium (mg) 120 200 280 300 40.3
Iron (mg) 6.1 8.7 14.8 14.8 3.1
Zinc (mg) 6.5 7.0 9.0 7.0 1.0
Copper (mg) 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0 0.1
Selenium (mcg) 20 30 45 60 11.1
Iodine (mcg) 100 110 130 140 11.4

In many children, food intake isn’t varied and is often high in empty calorie foods, i.e. foods that contain calories, but little in the way of micronutrients.  By including Huel, you can be sure that a good contribution of requirements for all vitamins and minerals is being met.  Also, as Huel is based on natural ingredients and topped up with a vitamin and mineral blend, by including it as part of a healthy balanced diet in your child, you need not be concerned about excess consumption of any nutrient if intake is at recommended amounts.

Amounts of Huel in Different Age Groups

As upper safe limits for vitamins and minerals in children haven’t been evaluated, we suggest children consume Huel up to around the recommended requirement levels for their age.  The following will give you a guide as to how much Huel a child or adolescent can include as part of a varied diet whilst encouraging them to eat good wholesome foods every day.  If your child has health issues, we recommend you consult your doctor or relevant clinical professional before allowing them to consume Huel.

Children Under 4
Huel is not suitable for babies or infants below or during weaning age.  Parents of children under 4 years old should consult their doctor or relevant health care professional before allowing their child to consume Huel.

4- to 6-Year-Olds
Children of 4 to 6 years of age can include up to 2 scoops (about 76g) Huel per day. This is around one quarter of their daily energy requirements and can be a great between-meal snack to ensure your child is getting a range of vitamins and minerals.ls.

7- to 10-Year-Olds
7- to 10-year-olds can enjoy 3 scoops (about 114g) of Huel per day, which would give them about a quarter of their daily energy.  Huel is ideal for fussy kids who won’t eat enough fruit and veg.

11- to 14-Year-Olds
Young adolescents can include around 4 scoops (about 152g) of Huel a day.  At this growth spurt age, energy requirements are high, especially in active kids; Huel provides a good contribution of protein, energy and vitamins for this age group.

15- to 18-Year-Olds
Older adolescents have, in most cases, nutritional requirements greater than those of adults due to the fact that they’re growing, they’re often physically active and are studying at school or college.  This age group can enjoy Huel freely as part of a balanced, varied diet.

References

(1) British Nutrition Foundation. Nutrition Requirements. 2016. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/article/261/Nutrition%20Requirements_Revised%20Oct%202016.pdf

(2) HMSO 1991. Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom.

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